All About Ceviche: An Authentic Peruvian Dish

All About Ceviche: An Authentic Peruvian Dish

Ceviche is the best known Peruvian dish. Its origins come from Lima, Peru, but it can be found in many coastal areas in Latin America. A simple ceviche is made with raw fish, lime juice, salt, and some type of pepper. With a bit of knowledge and experimentation, you can create this Peruvian delight right in your Ashburn, VA home.

The History Of Ceviche

There is a theory that this delicious seafood dish was originated by the Moche of Peru around 2000 years ago. In that time, the Moche used fermented juices from local banana passion fruit to marinate their seafood. The dish was then modified by the Spaniards upon their arrival. It was taken and spread to other Latin American populations who each added their own special flair to ceviche recipes.

The word ceviche comes from many sources. It may come from the Latin term cibus which means “food for men and animals.” It might also have originated from the Arabic words for vinegar and soup. The Spanish word escabeche means to pickle, and judging by their involvement in the dish from an early time, it’s possible that this is the origin for the ceviche of today’s culinary world.

Cooking Ceviche

Peruvian chefs have experimented with the process of denaturation to get their ceviche just right. Denaturation is a chemical reaction that occurs when the acid in lime juice combines with the fresh fish meat. The acid changes the composition of the meat, turning it from soft and pliable to opaque and firm as if it has just been cooked. Oily fish do not make good ceviche, so stick with the following to create the best dish:

  • Sea Bass
  • Grouper
  • Halibut
  • Sole
  • Bream
  • Polack
  • Flounder

As long as the quality of fish is impeccable, marinating times can be as short as ten minutes, or as long as two hours. Marinating will not kill bacteria the same way that the heat from cooking does. Some choose to quickly cook the fish in boiling water prior to marinating to kill pathogens, but it is still important to choose the highest-quality of fish available in Ashburn, VA to reduce exposure to disease and impart a delicious flavor.

Fresh Is Best

The best time to eat ceviche is when it’s freshly prepared. Leftovers can certainly be stored, but the marinade will continue to penetrate the flesh of the fish. This can lead to a rubbery texture over time. Eventually, the fish will break apart, so if you can’t eat the ceviche within a few days, consider throwing out the remains or using as compost.

One of the best cocktails to serve with ceviche is a classic Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru. Though ceviche is traditionally served as an appetizer without a side dish, sweet potatoes or corn can be served as an accompaniment. Even in Ashburn, VA, the wonderful food of cultures from across the globe can be enjoyed if you just put in a little bit of effort.

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